It’s going to be a pretty big party this year, considering I can’t remember the last time the Toronto Maple Leafs had this many solid prospects.
The Leafs have just announced their Prospect Camp details. Most importantly, the Camp will run from July 7th through 12th, and split its time between Toronto and Collingwood. It will feature a total of 57 players, 26 of them being non-affiliated camp invites. (That’s insanity.)
Leafs affiliated prospects include Casey Bailey, Jeremy Bracco, Tony Cameranesi, Travis Dermott, Stephen Desrocher, Cody Donaghey, Martins Dzierkals, Pierre Engvall, Matt Finn, Frederik Gauthier, Fabrice Herzog, Zach Hyman, Andreas Johnson, Dakota Joshua, Kasperi Kapanen, Nikita Korostelev, Brendan Leipsic, Jesper Lindgren, Viktor Loov, Mitch Marner, Andrew Nielsen, William Nylander, J.J. Piccinich, Jack Rodewald, Dmytro Timashov, Dominic Toninato, Brady Vail, Rinat Valiev, Carter Verhaeghe, Nolan Vesey and Patrick Watling.
Camp invites include D Matthew Abt (RIT, NCAA), F Stephen Baylis (Carleton Place, CCHL), D Gavin Bayreuther (St. Lawrence, NCAA), D Connor Boland (Sault Ste. Marie, OHL), D Nikolas Brouillard (Quebec, QMJHL), G Collin Delia (Merrimack, NCAA), D Brien Diffley (Boston University, NCAA), F Scott Eansor (Seattle, WHL), F TJ Foster (Alberta, CIS), D Callum Fryer (Aurora, OJHL), D Nolan Gluchowski (St. Lawrence, NCAA), D Jordan Gross (Notre Dame, NCAA), F Gabe Guertler (Sault Ste. Marie, OHL), D Aiden Jameison (London, OHL), F Michael Joly (Rimouski, QMJHL), F Alex Kile (Michigan, NCAA), F Viktor Liljegren (RPI, NCAA), D Cameron Lizotte (Peterborough, OHL), G Alex Lyon (Yale, NCAA), D Brendan Miller (North Bay, OHL), G Justin Nichols (Guelph, OHL), G Lucas Peressini (Kingston, OHL), D Will Reilly (North York, OJHL), F Kevin Rooney (Providence, NCAA), F Zach Saar (Penn State, NCAA) and F Nikolai Skladnichenko (Metallurg, KHL).
Sound like a big camp? It really is.
In 2012, the Leafs invited 42 players to their Prospect Camp. In 2013, it was only 34. Last year, that number dropped all the way down to 29.
I don’t think it’s a coincidence that 57 players get invited to the 2015 camp while at the same time Toronto is looking to flesh out a deeper prospect pool using AHL and ECHL contracts. It wouldn’t be a surprise if at least a couple of these players wind up on the Orlando Solar Bears roster, while the Toronto Marlies roster figures to be stocked with Leafs draft picks.